Will he run or won’t he?
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels isn’t one of the more talked about GOP potential candidates for President, though he is definitely Obama’s biggest threat, should he choose to run.
Will he run or won’t he?
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels isn’t one of the more talked about GOP potential candidates for President, though he is definitely Obama’s biggest threat, should he choose to run.
I just finished listening to Sarah Palin’s resignation speech, from start to finish.
After almost 7 full minutes of rambling… and not a whole lot of sense-making, we learn that she is stepping down as Governor of Alaska.
It was quite disjointed, from strange basketball analogies to promises to affect political change for Alaska outside of politics, to my personal favorite, how she put her political future to her kids for a vote.
When asking them if she should resign, she got “4 yeahs and a resounding HELL YEAH”, and apparently it was the hell yeah that sealed the deal.
Man oh man.
Later, after spending the entire speech knocking politics, and complaining about how horrible mainstream media has been to her family and how this experience has basically ruined her life and the lives of her children, she says, “I don’t want to discourage anyone from entering politics”.
As long as she’s encouraging others not to give up their dreams to follow in her footsteps so that they, too, can live in their own personal hell as a result, I’m cool. (Read: Sarcasm)
The entire ordeal is bizarre, and despite the fact that Sarah Palin has never been one to make a whole lot of sense while speaking, I am still a bit shocked.
Some insiders say Palin is resigning to begin preparing for either a 2010 U.S. Senate race or is gearing up for the top-dog position of POTUS, come 2012.
I say if she truly wanted either of those, the last thing she should have done is step down as governor, having not even completed her first term.
Palin is addressing a nation, a nation in which members of her own party refused to vote for the ticket on which she was listed, because of her lack of political experience.
I don’t think “Resigned as Governor prior to completion of first term” is really a bullet she should want to have placed on her resume, should national politics be her ultimate goal.
What party would she run under?
The Party of “When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going”?
Call me cynical, but considering that she was unable to complete a single term as governor of a state in which there are fewer residents than New York City, I find it hard to imagine her next stop will be Leader of the Free World.
Even Republicans are scratching their heads, with one Senator, Lisa Murkowski, releasing a statement regarding her “disappointment” that Governor Palin has chosen to “abandon” Alaska.
There are other rumors, of course. The media has gone berserk, speculating on the various reasons why Palin really chose to step down. Right now they’re running the gambit from an unexpected pregnancy, to speculation that she has a new book deal- the financial numbers of which she would have to disclose to the state, to rumors of a very damaging criminal investigation against her.
I’m not surprised, given the reasons she stated during her press conference really amounted to nothing more than rambling. The effect was the impression of a woman trying to pull a fast one, having no intention of explaining the real motivation for her decision, instead choosing to fill dead air with a bunch of nonsense that made little, if any, sense at all.
Personally, I don’t know that the reasons for Palin’s resignation really matter too much.
The bottom line is that had she truly planned to descend on the scene, making her mark in national politics, she has just shot herself in the foot.
Abandoning ship prior to reaching the agreed-upon destination (the end of her term) was political suicide.
For her own sake, I hope the rumblings of her various insiders are true- and that Palin is leaving politics for good. Not because I’m not a fan of Palin’s, but because I believe her choosing to step down as Governor, regardless of what her ultimate designs were, has spelled the end of her political career.
I’m sure as the days develop we’ll get more clarification about this most unconenventional development.
Until then, looks like things are gettin’ kinda deep up there in Alaska.
Let’s just jump right in, cuz I really do have a lot to say.
Today I have right-wing extremism on my mind… something I’ve been mulling over lately… and something that truly makes my blood run cold.
… And it’s escalating quickly.
Since Barack Obama descended on the scene with his eye turned to the presidency, we have seen this country’s lunatics come out in full force.
During the campaign we heard about assassination plots, accusations of Obama’s false ties to Muslim terror groups, chants and rants at Republican rallies calling for his death and accusations of treason.
Talk about foreshadowing… we all saw it unfolding. Most of us understood, upon witnessing the GOP presidential candidate and his running mate’s unwillingness to condemn the behavior (until it was much too late, that is), that the worst was yet to come.
We were right.
Now, within the past couple of weeks, we have learned of the brutal murders of Dr. George Tiller, an American abortion doctor and of another fellow American- a security guard named Steven T. Johns– at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.
Both men were murdered by right-wing extremists- Tiller was killed by a well known pro-life advocate, Johns died at the hands of an 88 year old white supremacist and anti-semite.
The killers have been charged with murder, but inexplicably, neither men have been charged with any counts of terrorism. If these terrible acts of violence against Americans do not qualify as domestic terrorism, nothing does.
Perhaps as terrifying as the crazy people perpetrating this violence are the powerful “main stream” conservatives behind them, the people who in essence stir the pot… and then sit back, showing false horror, as it all comes to a boil. These are people you’ve all heard of… many of you even support their political and religious beliefs…
… Millions of you voted for at least two of them to become your next president and vice president, and you allow the others into your homes and cars by way of television and radio each and every day.
You know exactly who I am referring to.
John McCain, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and friends did not single-handedly cause the recent bloodshed on American soil by right-wing extremists.
They did, however, incite much of the ugliness we see today, and those that didn’t incite it, stood back and did nothing to cause the boiling pot to simmer, or cool off.
As a result, it has boiled over.
Now that these so-called leaders have stirred and heated up what I’ll call the “Crazy Pot”- essentially giving psychotic people a free pass- morally, at least- to terrorize and kill, they sit back, feigning shock and confusion… doing their very best to distract us from the facts- the fact that they are contributing to a violently divided nation.
It’s almost as if in realizing that their own party is falling apart, they have made the decision to fight- not to save the GOP or our very nation- but to take every last one of us down with them.
I do not understand the lack of outrage.
Where is the anger from my fellow Americans, both Conservative and Liberal alike?
I posted a piece on this site yesterday about David Letterman’s inappropriate comments regarding Willow Palin, Sarah Palin’s 14 year old daughter. I received hundreds of hits on that particular post alone, and the moral outrage seen in my comments section was mind-boggling.
Letterman’s joke was idiotic, and it wasn’t funny… but he didn’t kill anyone.
Why are people more enraged that he, a late night talk show host who makes his living by telling off-color jokes, made a stupid comment, than they are about the fact that two Americans were brutally murdered by politically motivated right-wing nutjobs, mere days apart?
It appears that certain conservatives in this country are so busy being pissed off at those who do not share their same beliefs, that they have missed the forest for the trees.
People are being murdered, and last time I checked, regardless of political or religious affiliation, Americans generally agree that murder is reprehensible. So many of these same people would willingly lynch David Letterman for telling his stupid jokes… while simultaneously looking the other way when members of their own party are killing others.
Prior to Dr. Tiller’s death, for example, Bill O’Reilly was igniting viewers’ anger by referring to him repeatedly as a “mass murderer”, “Tiller the Baby Killer”, and claiming that his abortion clinic was a “death mill”. After Tiller’s murder, O’Reilly mostly toned back his hateful rhetoric- even acknowledging that Dr. Tiller was breaking no laws, but did not address- not a single time- all the right wingers out there that dared celebrate the horrific death of a fellow American.
He showed no real outrage at this violent act of terrorism.
He simply did a lot of back-pedaling, hoping that in doing so, America would not see his (inadvertant) role in this tragedy.
O’Reilly did not shoot Dr. Tiller, but he helped incite the violence and hatred that ultimately led to his death.
This is a disturbingly common trend, and it is downright horrifying.
If half of the people who expressed such outrage at, say, Letterman’s dumb jokes, showed that sort of contempt over the events that led to these two dead Americans, our country would perhaps be in slightly less dire straits.
How disgustingly terrifying.
Ok, so David Letterman may have crossed a line with his recent jokes regarding Sarah Palin and her daughter, with some people even calling for his termination from CBS.
I thought the jokes specifically about Governor Palin were pretty funny- and not the slightest bit out of line- though perhaps slightly off-color.
I did, however, cringe at his quip about Palin’s daughter.
The Governor had taken her 14 year old daughter to a Yankees game while recently visiting New York. Letterman joked on his show that during the Seventh Inning Stretch, Willow, the daughter, got “knocked up” by Alex Rodriguez.
Disgusting, for sure.
I’m not here to condone Letterman’s comments. Personally, I feel that for the most part, children of politicians should be off limits for all of us- late night comedians included. I do make an exception for people such as Megan McCain (John McCain’s daughter) and Bristol Palin (Sarah Palin’s oldest daughter) because A) they are not minors and B) they have chosen a life in the public eye- Megan as a popular blogger, Bristol as a public advocate for abstinence.
Personally, I’m not a fan of the double standard here.
Can you imagine, for example, had Conan O’Brien quipped, during Michelle Obama’s recent trip to London with her daughters, that Sasha (or Malia- pick a kid), had been knocked up by Hugh Grant?
Or worse, Boy George?
I realize that politically incorrect, often distasteful humor, is par for the course in late night comedic television… but sometimes, as we all know, lines do get crossed, and feelings get hurt.
Unfortunately, and it pains me to say this- as I am a Letterman fan- his so-called apology on the matter was grossly inadequate. Letterman claims that his joke regarding Palin’s daughter was actually geared towards Bristol Palin, but I’m not buying it. Everyone knows Bristol was not the one who accompanied her mother to the Yankees game, and surely, considering all of Letterman’s staff, if not the big man himself, someone would have picked up on this fact.
This, at best, was a terrible gaffe on the part of his research department. At worst, he knew exactly what he was saying and who he was saying it about.
Regardless, it was a completely inappropriate thing to say.
What enrages me, however, even more than Letterman’s false and disengenuous apology, is certain Republican politicians’ reactions to his comments.
John McCain, for example, when asked his opinion by news source Reuters, stated, “I don’t understand why Letterman would say that about a young woman… They deserve some kind of protection from being the butt of late-night hosts.”
Funny, considering McCain’s own comments about then-President Bill Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, on the Letterman show back in 1998:
Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because Janet Reno is her father.
It makes one wonder… are John McCain and friends truly against the idea of people attacking the children of politicians… or does it only become a no-no when said politician is a fellow conservative?
Letterman was wrong for saying the things he said about Willow Palin, and that family deserves a genuine apology.
… But as we all know, peoplewho live in glass houses should not throw stones.
Willow Palin deserves our outrage on her behalf. Unfortunately, when it comes from such sources as John McCain, the anger appears phony, crafted, politically motivated and most of all, horribly hypocritical.
Pedophilia, rape and teenage sex are not humorous topics- regardless of who is making the joke, or who the joke is about.
It is, after all, a national epidemic, as Sarah Palin and family know first hand.
Perhaps, instead of duking it out over which public figures’ children are and aren’t off limits, our time would be better spent advocating on behalf of the children who find themselves the butt of these most reprehensible jokes.
There’s a big controversy brewing at Notre Dame as a result of President Obama’s invitation to give this year’s commencement speech.
A lot of people don’t want him speaking at the school, claiming his beliefs are at odds with the university’s teachings.
Many of these people are Catholics- as is the university itself- and are using this fact as an excuse to try and keep Obama from accepting the college’s invitation.
He’s pro-choice, he’s pro-gay rights, he’s pro-stem cell research… and so for these reasons, they argue, he should not be allowed to give the address.
Quite frankly, it is absolutely ridiculous.
First of all, the Catholic Church has stated, on more than one occassion that Obama cannot be considered a violator of Catholic principals since he, himself, is not Catholic.
This would be the same thing as condemning Jews for not believing in Jesus as the son of God.
It simply isn’t done.
Not in any official capacity, anyway, and not by the Catholic Church.
He isn’t even the first pro-choice person to be asked.
Obama, one has to assume, likely will not be attempting to convert the students of Notre Dame into bleeding heart liberals… supporters of all-things abortion and gay.
It’s a graduation speech.
Give me a break.
Where was the outrage back in September of 1984 when then-Governor of New York (and Catholic), Mario Cuomo spoke at the University?
Governor Cuomo’s entire speech was centered on the defense of liberal politics and his pro-choice stance.
This guy was not only pro-choice… but he is a Catholic who’s pro-choice… which is a direct violation of that church’s doctrine.
I’m pretty sure it’s punishable by death, in fact.
Prob’ly says something like that in the book of Leviticus.
A Catholic speaking at a Catholic university to defend his pro-choice beliefs sounds way more controversial than a non-Catholic speaking at a graduation ceremony…
…A ceremony in which, due to the theme of the day, will most likely center around nothing more eyebrow-raising than a motivational speech designed to give graduates the ambition they need to go forth into the world and follow their dreams.
Barack Obama simply follows a long line of presidents before him… a tradition, if you will… of giving commencement addresses at Notre Dame.
He joins the likes of Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy (coincidentally, this country’s only Catholic president- ever), Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan.
Interestingly, it was later said of Regan’s speech, that while Notre Dame is definitely an institution of prestige and national influence, Regan’s actions “opposed the values placed on social justice in Catholic moral teaching”.
You paying attention, Conservatives?
Even Regan didn’t get it quite “right”.
Pardon the pun.
What better way to show the world that even people with deeply opposing belief-systems can still find common ground, than by having a man such as Barack Obama speak at a university such as this one?
It’s a wonderful idea.
Hopefully people will get off their moral high ground for long enough to see this for mind-opening opportunity that it truly has the potential to be.
Really, it’s almost as if some people are so terrified that if their children, their innocent li’l college grads, are ever exposed to anyone with different ideas than their own, then these most-precious kids will instantly self-combust.
It’s getting ridiculous.
Let’s work harder at working together, and let’s focus on the goal of killing off closed-mindedness.
If that’s too hard, fine.
Just let the man speak.
A few weeks ago (on February 24, 2009), Obama addressed the nation in front of a joint session of Congress.
It was a moving speech, focusing primarily on the economy, and the challenges faced by America today.
There were a couple of attendees at the event that are not politicians, but rather, people whose personal stories touched the President and First Lady personally.
Located in Miami, Mr. Abess was recognized for his generosity- he received a $60 million bonus from the proceeds of the sale of his bank’s shares- and rather than keep it for himself, he split it up among his 399 current employees- and more than 70 previous ones.
Once President Obama told her story, we all fell in love with her.
Ty’Sheoma is from a tiny town in South Carolina. Her school is dilapidated- in fact it isn’t even up to code. Classes are interrupted several times a day to allow for the noisy trains that roll through the area.
Desperate for a decent school- a building that isn’t falling apart around her- a place where learning can be uninterrupted, Ty’Sheoma wrote to Barack Obama.
She requested some of the stimulus money for her school.
Her letter read, in part, “We are just students trying to become lawyers, doctors, congressmen like yourself and one day president, so we can make a change to not just the state of South Carolina but also the world. We are not quitters.”
Our President was so moved by her words that he invited Ms. Bethea to attend his speech, sitting with his wife in a place of honor.
We all had warm fuzzies at the close of the speech, knowing there were hundreds of millions of dollars in that stimulus package- set aside just for South Carolina- money that the state’s governor could use for education.
Ty’Sheoma, her fellow students and their teachers can now attend a school that stands on its own and isn’t interrupted by the constant din of passing trains.
Not so much.
Money that will patch holes in the roofs of public school buildings… money that will go to purchase school books and teaching supplies- replacing outdated and inaccurate materials… money that will save teachers’ jobs… money that will pay the salaries for qualified educators to join the ranks of the South Carolina Public School System.
Is Governor Sanford really so arrogant as to think we aren’t watching him? Does he believe that we have forgotten Ty’Sheoma Bethea? Does he assume we don’t care about her, her fellow classmates, her teachers and their administrators?
If so, he is sadly mistaken.
Sanford only wants to accept the stimulus money if he gets to choose how to spend it- and has stated if that were the case, he would focus on paying down South Carolina’s other debts- not on extending unemployment benefits and education.
In that case, I’m sure Ty’Sheoma will understand.
I mean, let’s face it.
She wasn’t going to be a doctor, lawyer or anything else, right?
Until now I have stayed away from all the arguments surrounding the impeachment of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, and his controversial choice in naming Roland Burris to replace President Barack Obama in the Senate.
Today, however, I have something to say.
I came across an article in the Chicago Sun-Times about Senator Burris, and his recent appearance at a Martin Luther King breakfast (part of the Rainbow PUSH coalition).
It was at this event that Burris claims it was he who made it possible for Barack Obama to become president.
I had hoped, with the historic election of our first black president, that we would not be bombarded with a bunch of idiotic people claiming that had it not been for them and their tireless efforts, this election never would have been possible.
It seems my prayers are going to go unanswered… in this instance at least.
Now don’t misunderstand.
I’m not saying there wasn’t a huge effort, an effort that dates back more than a century, that went into making Obama’s election possible.
Many people- men and women, black and white- have worked tirelessly, sacrificing their very lives, so that a man like Barack Obama- a man just like any of the rest of us- could acheive the honor of holding the highest office in this land.
All of them are heroes, and all of them have my undying respect and gratitude.
Roland Burris, however, is an asshole.
I’m surprised that Burris, in his never-ending quest to take credit for the results of this most historic election (glory that is not his), has not gone on to take credit for ending the death penalty in the state of Illinois.
He was responsible for it, after all.
Unfortunately, the story behind the now-infamous moratorium on Illinois’ executions is more of a black mark on Burris’ record than anything else… maybe that’s why we don’t hear him talking about it too often.
Allow me to explain.
As many people know, Roland Burris served as the state of Illinois’ Attorney General from 1991-1995. He was only the second African-American to hold this position.
In 1992, the case of two men- one of which had been sentenced to death in 1985 for the kidnapping, rape and murder of a 10-year old child- erupted in controversy, and was back on the docket, up for appeal.
Burris assigned Assistant Attorney General Mary Brigid Kenney to fight the appeal. Right away, she developed some serious concerns regarding the legitimacy of the original investigation against the men. She immediately sent her boss (Burris) a memo stating that she believed the state had convicted two innocent men, refusing to take part in fighting to uphold what she felt was a wrongful conviction.
Her letter of resignation reads, in part:
I was being asked to help execute an innocent man… Unfortunately, you have seen fit to ignore the evidence in this case.
In 1995, DNA tests confirmed that neither of the men had committed the crimes they had been charged with and sentenced to die for.
Kenney, it seems, had been right all along.
A.G Burris, on the other hand, defended his fight to keep the men in prison, claiming that it is not his job to judge the actions of the jurors who originally convicted them.
In 2002, then-Governor Jim Ryan issued a full pardon to both defendents.
It was this case that resulted in Governor Ryan’s state-wide moratorium on all executions.
Burris was never taken to task for his tireless fight to execute an innocent man, nor was he ever forced to accept responsibility for causing the moratorium on all executions in Illinois.
Don’t get me wrong- I’m not a fan of the death penalty myself.
Burris, however, fucked up.
While definitely one of his bigger mistakes, the death penalty fiasco is but one example of the true character of this jackass.
Like too many politicians, he has led a professional life that is fraught with hypocrisy.
In 1993, for example, while still Attorney General, he organized a national handgun ban. He even helped organize Chicago’s first Gun Turn-In Day.
It was later revealed that Burris himself not only owned a handgun and a shotgun, but had refused to turn either of them in, like he was pushing so hard for everyone else to do.
He organizes a nationwide hand gun ban, pushes for heavy gun control (not something I’m opposed to, mind you), organizes the city’s first Gun Turn-In Day…
… And then “forgets” that he owns two weapons himself?
Senator Roland Burris, unfortunately, is just another politician…
… Full of his own self-importance… and laced with a whole heapin’ gob of bullshit.
A man who thinks the rules apply to everyone but him.
This is just what we need.
As we’ve all heard by now, Charles Barkley was arrested in Arizona recently on suspicion of DUI.
He ran a stop sign, and when questioned by the officer that pulled him over, he claimed he did it because he was in a hurry.
Simply put, the poor guy was anxious- thus his need to hurry.
This is the same guy who has his sights set on the governorship in 2014.
I wonder if his political career has ended before it even effectively began.
I don’t think his DUI would cause him any long-term consequences… certainly not all the way through 2014…
I do wonder what his… uh… blunt confession (to say the least), about breaking the law and jeopardizing others because he was on a mission to receive oral sex might do.
We’re all human, and we all make mistakes. I’ve always been a fan of Charles Barkley… mostly because he is outspoken and real.
Hopefully he will handle this most recent embarrassment forthrightly, making no excuses for his very dangerous actions.
If he does that, perhaps we can look forward to calling him Governor Barkley in a few years…
… Otherwise, he might just have been shut out.
I love Sarah Palin.
She’s so much fun.
First, she pardons a turkey, calling herself a friend to all creatures…
Ok moose hunter.
Next, she gives her post-pardon interview in plain view of her “friends” (turkeys) being slaughtered.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Well, thanks to fellow blogger-guy Mudflats, I’ve found something that can help us all become better acquainted with Sarah Palin.
This is an important discovery since the GOP is obviously convinced that Mrs. Palin is nothing other than a robot… unwilling to allow the woman to speak (let alone think) on her own… I figured we could all benefit from a resource that will tell us what she’s really all about…
Since she is clearly incapable of telling us herself.
The only time her new-found watchdogs (I didn’t say pit bulls because McCain and friends do not wear lipstick) allow her to so much as open her mouth in public is when it’s in the form of a scripted speech.
She takes no questions from the media, gives no interviews… and as yet, won’t even appear on any talk shows.
Meanwhile the GOP is feverishly giving the Governor a crash course on being a veep pick…
They’ll keep her under wraps until she aces the Republican-taught, “How to be a Slimy Politician 101″…
Unfortunately, this leaves the rest of us having to dig pretty deep if we want any actual info about Palin-the-Pit.
So, what is this thing, you ask?
It is the 60-some-odd page result of her vetting … a process the Alaskan Democrats put her through in 2006 when she was running for Governor…
A process the Republican Party didn’t feel was necessary this year, prior to selecting her for their veep candidate.
I’d heard rumblings about the existence of this document from the day Sarah Palin was announced as John McCain’s running mate… I just couldn’t find it.
I believe the GOP Nazis tried to have it destroyed.
(Cue Evil Spy Movie music)
Anyway, stepping away from the conspiracy theories, and back to reality, these papers have a lot of information in them, and can be a bit overwhelming if you try to read it page-by-page.
So to borrow some good advice from Mudflats himself- wait- herself-
Uh… Crap, I don’t know if Mudflats is a man or a woman-
Go to page 2 of the document…
That’s where the table of contents is located, and from there you can kind of puruse at your leisure, touching on whatever sparks your interest at the moment.